The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently issued a proposed rule that would provide employers with alternate procedures to examine Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) documentation.
Under the rule, the Secretary of Homeland Security could authorize alternative options for document examination procedures, as long as they offer an equivalent level of security, or as a temporary measure to address a public health or national emergency. One of those options could be the permanent ability to review Form I-9 documents remotely, a practice that was implemented during the Covid-19 pandemic and most recently extended through the end of October.
DHS notes that the impetus for this rule is the advancement of technology and new work arrangements brought on by the pandemic to explore “alternative options, including making permanent some of the current COVID-19 pandemic-related flexibilities to examine employees’ identity and employment authorization documents for the Form I-9.” It also notes that the rule is not, in and of itself, creating these options, but rather is creating the authority to allow the government to “extend flexibilities, provide alternative options, or conduct a pilot program to further evaluate an alternative procedure option for some or all employers.”
A 60-day comment period will remain open until October 17, 2022. Comments may be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal website at https://www.regulations.gov.
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Please contact us if you have any questions about what this means for your own hiring practices.